Schumacher tyre-d of Pirelli
Michael Schumacher has launched a critical attack on Pirelli, and has called on the tyre supplier to rethink its approach to Formula One.
The seven-times champion, who claimed the final point in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix after starting from 22nd on the grid, believes drivers are unable to give their all because of Pirelli's rubber.
The majority of the field, as in China last week, were forced to adopt three-stop strategies, however it could have been more but for drivers adopting a conservative approach to preserve the tyres.
"The main thing I feel unhappy about is everyone has to drive well below a driver's, and in particular, the car's limits to maintain the tyres," said Schumacher.
"I just question whether the tyres should play such a big importance, or whether they should last a bit longer, and that you can drive at normal racing car speed and not cruise around like we have a safety car.
"I'm not happy about the situation, let's see what happens in future. If it was a one-off car issue, you could say it's up to us to deal with it.
"But basically it is everybody, with maybe one or two exceptions, and if it is 80% of the field that has this problem, then maybe the tyre supplier should think about that."
Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery was left surprised at Schumacher's choice of words.
"I'm disappointed to hear those comments from someone of Michael's experience," Hembery told Autosport.
"Others were getting on with the job and getting their tyres to work.
"His comments during winter testing were that he was very happy with the tyres, and now he seems to have changed his tune."